The Kerala State Blood Transfusion Council has made it mandatory that any institution proposing to start a new blood bank secure a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Council first, before it can apply for a licence from the Drugs Controller General of India.
This provision will be applicable to existing blood banks seeking licence renewal.
The Council is tightening its norms as part of ensuring and maintaining the quality and standards of blood banks, as directed by the National Blood Transfusion Council. (Its objectives include developing a National Blood Transfusion Programme to ensure establishment of non-profit integrated National and State Blood Transfusion Services in the country.)
The Council has also decided to conduct frequent supervisory visits to blood banks henceforth. This will be in addition to the inspections conducted by Drugs Control officials.
Only those blood banks which are collecting more than 2,000 units of blood annually will be able to retain its licence. Blood banks which are collecting less than 2,000 units of blood annually will be asked to convert to blood storage units when they apply for licence renewal.
At present, an institution proposing to start a blood bank applies for a licence after fulfilling the necessary infrastructural requirements. From now on, the Council will first visit the institution and assess if there is a’s requirement for the institution to begin a blood bank. Only on securing the Council’s NOC can the institution go about creating the necessary infrastructure.
The Council has also decided that there will be no more stand-alone blood banks and that every blood bank will have to be attached to a hospital.
The Council has also requested the public not to donate blood in hospitals which do not possess a valid blood bank licence.
Also, no hospital or institution which does not have a valid licence will be allowed to collect blood.